Macedonian villagers force NATO troops to leave

The odyssey of the NATO troops who were thrown out of the Macedonian village of Zbrnjak, near Kumanovo, could have ended in tragedy for them if the Macedonian Special police force had not escorted them to Tabanovci, close to the Yugoslav border.

A large protest movement against the deployment NATO troops in Macedonia began in Kumanovo with the participation of 30,000 inhabitants of the town and neighbouring villages. Thousands of Kumanovo residents turned towards Tabanovci when they heard that the troops of the `strongest army in the world’ had taken refuge there.

While police and demonstrators battled it out at Tabanovic, the NATO troops fled to a nearby forest, driving their vehicles over fields (Source: Tanjug agency, 30 March 1999).